At least 29 male students died in an attack on the Federal Government College in remote Buni-Yadi, Nigeria, police said Tuesday. Twenty four buildings in the complex were burned.
The militants attacked the students, boys between the ages of 11 and 18, in their hostels in the middle of the night and initially did not use guns in order to avoid detection by security, Nigeria's PM News reported.
An unidentified eyewitness told Nigerian newspaper the Daily Trust he counted some 39 dead.
"The students were slaughtered and fired with guns. I counted 39 corpses," he said.
Capt. Lazarus Eli, a spokesman of the military 3 Special Operation Battalion, said the casualty figure couldn't be confirmed because of the destruction of communications in Buni-Yadi by the militants, but said the raid was conducted at around 2 a.m. Tuesday.
"It was too horrible because, some of the students were slaughtered, some were burnt inside the hostel" one witness told the Daily Trust.
Boko Haram is a militant Islamic group that has a history of committing violent attacks on Christian schools and churches in Nigeria.